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Sony KDF-55/60XS955 owners thread - Page 95

post #2821 of 2853
Well, the optical block arrived today from Tri State Module, and it is really an easy job to tackle. If you can operate a screwdriver and disconnect wiring harnesses, then assemble everything in reverse, you're good to go. I did shoot everything with compressed air (all the circuit boards, etc.) and vacuumed out the bottom of the enclosure. You'll see more dust at the bottom of this post...

So halfway through, I took apart the old optical block to see what kind of damage was inside. I pulled out the plastic carriage holding the polarizers, then the carriage holding the LCD panels. Here's what I found.

The green LCD panel, intact:



And here's the blue LCD panel, with the burned-in "halo" that not surprisingly matches the blue halo I had on my screen. biggrin.gif



The green and red polarizers looked like this--pretty much untouched:



...but the blue polarizer did not fare so well. The polarizer actually appears to be a plastic film applied to glass, and you can easily see the amber discoloration, and the "burned in" area as well:



The real enemy of these sets is dust. There are four fans inside of my set, and I'm sure the others Sony made are similar. The optical block itself has two of them. There is a larger squirrel cage fan built into the bottom of the block that I did not yet get to, but here is the one that sits out in the open on top, forcing air past the bulb and lens, after I shot it with the compressed air briefly:



Beforehand, you can easily see how restricted the airflow was. There was a ton of dust in this thing. It's no wonder the sets failed. I'm not sure if this fan is 100% the cause, but I know from cleaning out my desktop computer (which was overheating also, the fans running in high speed mode constantly), it does not take much dust to restrict airflow.



So the bottom line is: in any of these rear projection sets, we may have to make it a habit to at least clean this one fan out regularly to prevent the LCDs and polarizers from getting cooked. I am hanging onto the two remaining LCD panels for future repairs, but I don't think the green and red polarizers can be used over the blue LCD. Otherwise, I can return the core to Tri State, and they'll reuse it for a future rebuild.

Total cost to me: $135, including the TV and the optical block. Not bad for a 50" HDTV!
post #2822 of 2853
We'll be anxiously awaiting your report on how it looks when you put it all back together. I don't have the do-it-yourself prowess to even attempt this kind of stuff. Heck I was paranoid when it was time to change the bulb on the 55XS955.

Harry
post #2823 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by HGN2001 View Post

We'll be anxiously awaiting your report on how it looks when you put it all back together. I don't have the do-it-yourself prowess to even attempt this kind of stuff. Heck I was paranoid when it was time to change the bulb on the 55XS955.

Harry

The job itself (at least on this set) is quite easy. There is one subchassis that slides out, which contains just about all of the electronics. Taking the optical block out is as easy as unplugging seven or eight connectors, and taking out a few screws. A couple of parts need to be transferred from the old block to the new one, then reassemble everything in reverse.

So far it looks pretty good. I watched moments of a few different 720p and higher sources last night and they look pretty sharp. I did see what looked like a small blue smudge just a bit higher than center, but I don't see it very often to know if it's there for certain. The picture itself sometimes does look a bit sharp on the edges (even with sharpness turned down and the set in "Mild" mode) but I'm also not used to the picture on this set either--this is the first HD set I've had. It also needs some slight adjustment--the picture is slightly off the left side. I need to dig out one of those "video essentials" discs around here and tune it up properly. Overall it's quite an impressive picture!

I am contemplating getting a new bulb now, since it has the new optical block. I don't know the age of this one.
post #2824 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcat445 View Post

I did see what looked like a small blue smudge just a bit higher than center, but I don't see it very often to know if it's there for certain.

Was this something that you might observe while the set's off, perhaps in the daytime? Our 55XS955 used to have this odd reflection that could be seen in the daytime. It was near the center, but higher in the rectangle. It never seemed to mess up the picture that was on though, at least not noticeably so. I'll bet the early part of this thread has others chiming in on their observations about that smudge/reflection.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcat445 View Post

The picture itself sometimes does look a bit sharp on the edges (even with sharpness turned down and the set in "Mild" mode) but I'm also not used to the picture on this set either--this is the first HD set I've had.

The first time you see standard def stuff on a high-def set, you're always disappointed. The old CRT's were very forgiving. The high-def sets are not. SD really is largely crap!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcat445 View Post

It also needs some slight adjustment--the picture is slightly off the left side. I need to dig out one of those "video essentials" discs around here and tune it up properly. Overall it's quite an impressive picture!

Further back in this thread you'll also find codes to get you into Service Mode. It's a tricky place, so know what you're doing before messing around in there, but there should be some picture-centering and size adjustments available there, if the ones in the main menus aren't correcting the problem. Google Service Mode for your set's model number, you'll probably find it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcat445 View Post

I am contemplating getting a new bulb now, since it has the new optical block. I don't know the age of this one.

For most Sony's of that era, another visit to "Service Mode" check should tell you, if the owner did it right at bulb-change time. You can also reset it when you replace the bulb.

Harry
post #2825 of 2853
I am actually surprised at how decent SD material looks on this set. TV broadcasts are another story (I haven't begun to mess with the antenna situation yet), but all of my discs are ripped to .MKV or .AVI files, stored on a network drive and then pulled to the TV via a WDTV Live Streaming Media Player box via HDMI. I set the WDTV to 1080i (which is the highest level this set takes) and it's all looking good. The component cable also sorted out that 480p issue I had with the Wii--it is now displaying widescreen properly. And I tried the Amazon Instant Video streaming through the Wii last night (with a 4th season episode of Mission Impossible) and it looked pretty good! (The Amazon video is for some reason not yet available on the WDTV.) I'm curious to see what it will do with my DVD player via component outputs.

It's some of the HD programming that looks overly sharp, believe it or not. Although I watched a couple minutes of some 1080p sources like "West Side Story", "North By Northwest" and they looked fine. Without cable, I can't get Tigers baseball...but thanks to HDMI and the laptop, I do have my "ways"... wink.gif

I have the service manual for this series, and I recall that it does give the sequence to get into the service menu. Making adjustments via a menu has to be easier than the time I tried to change the screen width and adjust the convergence on my ancient KPR36XBR from 1987! wink.gif On this set, I'm looking at a simple horizontal size and horizontal position adjustment, so I should be OK.

The blue smudge is just a bit left of center, and within the top quarter of the screen. I'm going to make a note to Tri State about it just so it's on record. I have a six month warranty on this optical block, and if the blue smudge gets worse I will definitely be asking for a replacement. Having read early in this thread about the "blue blobs" on similar sets, I'm wary of any extraneous blue spot I see.
post #2826 of 2853
Snap a picture when you get a chance. All we've seen is yellow ice!

Harry
post #2827 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by HGN2001 View Post

Snap a picture when you get a chance. All we've seen is yellow ice!

Harry

Will do! I might be playing West Side Story tonight. I can tell you that the Pixar films look especially sharp on this screen, even though it only resolves to 1080i. And I was actually able to use it as a computer monitor and view it from my "listening" seat. It was nice--I could finally use a computer for the first time in several years without having to wear glasses! Even SD material looks good--I'm streaming old Mission: Impossible episodes over the Wii via my Amazon Prime student membership and they look really good!

Very happy with the results, given how much I paid and the minimal work it took to get it going again. I'm still watching for the 42" version of the set for the living room BTW...I'm sure a repairable one will show up in the coming months.

I've had enough other hardware fail on me in the past two weeks, though, that it's going to take me awhile to get back on track: the network storage drive quit on me, the laptop froze up and won't boot, and even the Wii is having issues (running WiiFlow, which accesses all the games I have on a hard disk drive).
post #2828 of 2853
Hello everyone, I have the Sony KDF-60XS955 60-Inch TV. We replaced the lamp about 2 years ago and so far, no other issues until today. Turned the TV on and noticed specks all over the screen.

Anyone have any suggestions as to what could be causing the issue and how much it would cost to fix? I realize that with a set this old it would be smarter to invest in something newer.

thanks!

Image:
post #2829 of 2853
Looks like something's wrong with the optical block.

Our 55xs955 began exhibiting a blue blob earlier in the year. It started as just a bluish line near the bottom. Gradually, over the spring, the blue blob got bigger and bigger, working its way up toward the center-left of the screen. That's when we decided to call it quits and go get a new TV. The set had given us eight good years - seven on the first bulb - so we didn't feel like it was too big of a loss. Still, it would have been nice to get a bit more time out of it.

We put it on Craigslist as a freebee and it was gone within an hour.

Our new set, a Sony 60r550a has a lot of bells & whistles that the old TV didn't have, but the old TV had a few things going for it that can't really be replaced. The old set had those "dumbo-ears" speakers, which looked weird, but sounded fabulous. Many times we didn't need to run the sound through the external amp - the speakers on the TV did just fine.

The old set also had a nifty thing for us - two RF inputs - one for cable and one for antenna, which worked great with just a push of the remote "ANT" button. With the new set, I have to physically disconnect a cable and reconnect an antenna if I want to switch. I think I can get a remotely operable switch for that though. Just haven't done it yet.

Harry
post #2830 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by iksnoved25 View Post

Hello everyone, I have the Sony KDF-60XS955 60-Inch TV. We replaced the lamp about 2 years ago and so far, no other issues until today. Turned the TV on and noticed specks all over the screen.

Anyone have any suggestions as to what could be causing the issue and how much it would cost to fix? I realize that with a set this old it would be smarter to invest in something newer.

thanks!

(clipped image)

Standard initial troubleshooting:

With the tv off, unplug it from the wall for a while. Replug and try again.

If no better, repeat with any hdmi devices unplugged.

At each step see if the menu can come up clear. This provides a clue as to where the problem is.

Try different kinds of inputs and see if the problem is the same across all.
post #2831 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by HGN2001 View Post

Our new set, a Sony 60r550a has a lot of bells & whistles that the old TV didn't have

Harry - what are your thoughts on picture quality of your new 550a compared to the old xs955 when it was at it's best? I'm still running my 955, and every year I kick around the idea of replacing it - I just haven't found the "perfect" TV to cause me to pull the trigger.
post #2832 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

Harry - what are your thoughts on picture quality of your new 550a compared to the old xs955 when it was at it's best? I'm still running my 955, and every year I kick around the idea of replacing it - I just haven't found the "perfect" TV to cause me to pull the trigger.

I'm thrilled with the r550a. We were able to bump up to the 60" since the speakers aren't using up all of that space. The picture on the r550a is amazing - the difference in sharpness between the old 768p set and the new 1080p set is quite noticeable. Blu-rays and DVDs all look amazing in comparison.

There are differences in off-angle viewing between the xs955 and the r550a. With the xs955, if you veered off-angle, the picture would appear to dim noticeably and sharply. With the LED/LCD r550a, the off-axis viewing stays brighter, and viewable, but the color "pop" drops off quickly, making things look more pastel when you're not in front of the set. I think I prefer the way the new one works - since I've accepted that off-angle viewing is compromised in most of this technology. (Plasma owners need not preach here - I'm not interested.)

The black levels on the new set FAR surpass anything that the old xs955 could produce. When that set was at its optimum, a lot of blacks were somewhat grayish with little detail.

The r550a has a lot of features that are nifty, if little used by us. I'm not much of a 3-D viewer, but this set can do it, and even generate a pretty good fake 3-D on HDMI inputs. The smart TV "apps" are nice I suppose. We don't do much in the way of that kind of viewing - but we might in the future and it's nice to know it's there. I understand gamers really like this set, but we're not much for that either.

Harry
post #2833 of 2853
I'm not sure if that failure is the optical block or not--I know the overheating problem I had in my similar set was the same as the other failures on the XS955s: blue pixellation that grew across the entire screen. And, if the overheating was severe, a yellowed appearance from a "toasted" (literally!) polarizer over the LCD panel.

I'm still looking for a second set 50" or smaller that I can restore. If it is just the blue pixellation, I have two LCD panels from my old optical block I can use.

That failure above looks more like a type of pixelated "snow" over the entire picture. Makes me think it might possibly be further up the chain, in the video circuitry perhaps.
post #2834 of 2853

Hi guys,

 

I own a KDF-60XS955 and I have the infamous blue line problem.  I'm looking forward to repair the OB either by replacing the LCD panel or the Blue polarizer or both.  Obviously, I do not want to buy a polarizer if it is not dysfunctional (plus tri-state module do not have them in stock so...).

 

So from your experience guys, would you say the polarizer or the LCD is faulty in this case?  Here are some pictures:

 


Edited by jfvary - 10/17/13 at 9:55am
post #2835 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfvary View Post

Hi guys,

I own a KDF-60XS955 and I have the infamous blue line problem.  I'm looking forward to repair the OB either by replacing the LCD panel or the Blue polarizer or both.  Obviously, I do not want to buy a polarizer if it is not dysfunctional (plus tri-state module do not have them in stock so...).

So from your experience guys, would you say the polarizer or the LCD is faulty in this case?  Here are some pictures:

(pictures clipped)

I would say panel. Looking at the defect, it appears to be the kind that has a bit of movement to it, a very slow melting wax effect. If it also seems to 'heal' to some extent if the tv is off for a day or two, then returns after a few hours of use, that also points to panel.

That doesn't mean your blue polarizer is perfect, it will likely have a slightly bleached-out rectangular area in the center, but the panel is your main problem.

Re Tri-state, there are also plenty of cheap Sonys and other potential donors on craigslist from which you could take the LCD panel from the red or green position.
post #2836 of 2853

Thanks for your answer.  I will order a LCD (actually will order two, one for spare) right away.  I'll keep you posted on my repair.

 

Regards,

post #2837 of 2853
Someone locally had a KDF-42WE655 listed on Craigslist with a possible bad bulb, for $25. While I don't want to take the chance that the set is good or not, that is the type of set a person could pick up to gut for the parts. Even if the optical block had a problem, there are still two good LCD panels in it. And there is another module inside of these sets (I forget which "block" it is) that fails, and would be good to keep on hand for parts. The key is to go to Tri State's site, look at the list of TVs that use these common parts (LCD panels, blue polarizer), and then keep a sharp eye on Craigslist for possible parts donors.

On the flip side, I have repeatedly tried to contact someone regarding the same model set for $50 which just has the beginning of the blue pixelation problem, yet after three tries they still do not respond. Seems to be the trend on CL lately, I've found...
post #2838 of 2853
So call me crazy, but I scored the smaller sibling to my 50": the KDF-42WE655. Someone was selling it at an estate sale, and I got it for what is a very fair price. (In my hunt for another set, I made certain to stay within my budget, especially given the possible repairs.)

The bulb was replaced earlier in the year but, being a "second" TV, was not used much. I looked at the set before I took it home--even though I only could see snow (no source hooked up), it clearly did not have the blue pixel/yellow discoloration problem in the optical block. Cosmetically it looks nice, with the only flaw being the small door on the pedestal being missing (which covers up the front input jacks). The extra inputs alone will be very welcome in the living room! And this set is the perfect size for the room.

Now, here is where things get interesting. The set has a new bulb, which was the first bulb replacement it had. The optical block is still OK. My theory is that the blocked cooling fan (pictured earlier) caused the demise of my 50" set. I am going to disassemble part the optical block tomorrow morning to clean out that fan. If that fan is indeed plugged, I've probably rescued the optical block from further damage. Even if a few blue pixels have crept in, I still have the old block to scavenge for an LCD panel.

Pics of the fan to follow...
post #2839 of 2853
^ Neat!

Harry
post #2840 of 2853
Harry, my only remaining problem is, "What the heck are you bringing into the house now??" biggrin.gif

Still ironing out my antenna issues--the additional ANT751 is here but haven't had time to install it (or the Winegard antenna combiner). I also hope the array can drive two sets at once; if not I will need to look into the antenna preamp.
post #2841 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcat445 View Post

So call me crazy, but I scored the smaller sibling to my 50": the KDF-42WE655. Someone was selling it at an estate sale, and I got it for what is a very fair price. (In my hunt for another set, I made certain to stay within my budget, especially given the possible repairs.)

The bulb was replaced earlier in the year but, being a "second" TV, was not used much. I looked at the set before I took it home--even though I only could see snow (no source hooked up), it clearly did not have the blue pixel/yellow discoloration problem in the optical block. Cosmetically it looks nice, with the only flaw being the small door on the pedestal being missing (which covers up the front input jacks). The extra inputs alone will be very welcome in the living room! And this set is the perfect size for the room.

Now, here is where things get interesting. The set has a new bulb, which was the first bulb replacement it had. The optical block is still OK. My theory is that the blocked cooling fan (pictured earlier) caused the demise of my 50" set. I am going to disassemble part the optical block tomorrow morning to clean out that fan. If that fan is indeed plugged, I've probably rescued the optical block from further damage. Even if a few blue pixels have crept in, I still have the old block to scavenge for an LCD panel.

Pics of the fan to follow...

I don't remember the exact level of commonality between the XS955 and the WE/WF's, but I suspect the entire light engine is common at a much higher level than the optical block only, if you define the optical block as the X-prism with the three panels attached only. With the two light engines side-by-side the commonality will be obvious. Best case you would only swap the LCD panel driver board because that's where the TV's personality and setting are. (This is regardless of part numbers.) That would save you doing the mechanical convergence.

I've also been in the position of picking up a cheap set for a parts unit and finding it worked better than the patient.
post #2842 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckF. View Post

I don't remember the exact level of commonality between the XS955 and the WE/WF's, but I suspect the entire light engine is common at a much higher level than the optical block only, if you define the optical block as the X-prism with the three panels attached only. With the two light engines side-by-side the commonality will be obvious. Best case you would only swap the LCD panel driver board because that's where the TV's personality and setting are. (This is regardless of part numbers.) That would save you doing the mechanical convergence.

I've also been in the position of picking up a cheap set for a parts unit and finding it worked better than the patient.

There are some common design features between the two, and I know that many of Sony's blocks use the same LCD panels and polarizers. I would wager that every set out there with the same failure has had the same ventilation problem. Anyway...

Today's adventure was...interesting. On closer inspection after I brought it in the house, I noticed that the cabinet was filthy--it had that brownish tint to it that right away said, "Smokers." Yet I did not smell the telltale odor of it being tobacco-related. The dust I found was also brown-tinted; my 50" had more of a light grey dust (if one kind of dust can be cleaner than another). Here is the fan that pulls air in from the back of the set:



Here is the fan that blows over the electronics chassis:



And most importantly, here is the fan that blows into the light engine:



With my 50" set, I was easily able to blow the dust out of the fan. But with this one, compressed air would hardly move the dust--scraping it with a jeweler's screwdriver was the only way to loosen it. I also shot the blower cage with some electrical contact cleaner, and used a toothbrush from both sides to get that crud out. Seeing that the vanes were nearly sealed shut by crud, it is sheer luck that the blue LCD and polarizer were not destroyed! More on that shortly, however.

Here's the same fan, right before my last phase of cleaning--the vanes are at least opened up now:



The severe heat, however, caused another problem:



Look closely, and you'll see melted or cracked plastic, and some darker stains that look like the plastic overheated. The previous owner had changed the bulb just a few months ago (and then ended up storing the TV in the basement shortly thereafter)--my guess is that the old bulb overheated and had somewhat of catastrophic failure. In fact, when I was reattaching the bottom screw of the light engine, the screw would not tighten: the post it screws into had split and broken off a piece. Fortunately the top two screws seem to hold it in quite securely.

I know my sets are not exactly the XS955, but I'm hoping that if anyone should find this thread with all of our model numbers, they might see that this one particular fan is the major design flaw of this style of TV for Sony. We could talk about "what ifs" all day long, but the bottom line is that if your optical block is still good, some preventive maintenance is needed regularly to keep that fan clear and blowing plenty of air. Without it, we have a meltdown. A shame, really, since in their day, these had very nice pictures.

There is an identical set locally for $25 with a blown bulb, but the seller has no idea if the optical block is intact or not. I was tempted to take a bulb over and test it out. But one oddity I saw was that the labels on the back of the case were all peeling off slightly, making me wonder if it was stored in high humidity or in wet conditions. If so, I don't want it.
post #2843 of 2853
I think this needs more work. Looking at something with a white background (like an AT&T commercial that just aired), there is sort of an irridescent streakiness along the bottom half of the picture, coming up from the bottom of the screen. The menu and onscreen-text also looks slightly brown compared to the 50". The menu text is not bright yellow, like it was on my 50" when it had the overheated polarizer in place. This looks different. If anything, it almost looks...dirty? If I can produce a pure white screen on the laptop, I'll feed it to the set and try to snap a photo and post it.

Seeing the kind of crud that gunked up the fan (which I had to scrape off), I have a feeling that the lenses and everything inside the optical block may have some of this gunk on them. Remember, the fan blows the air through a duct, right into the optics. In a few weeks (once my semester is over), I might pull the whole thing out again, and then disassemble and clean all of the lenses, mirrors, etc. I will also clean what I can up in the screen (there's a mirror up there). Not sure what to do with the LCDs and polarizers though.

And who knows? Even if the blue LCD panel is still good, it is possible the polarizer has slight damage to it. I would have thought that if the optics had overheated, we'd have seen both blue pixels and a yellowed polarizer. The yellowed polarizer, in fact, had a uniform yellow tint throughout the picture. This, again, looks streaky/dirty. Beyond this, the picture is nice and sharp. And not one single blue pixel to be found.

FYI: the prices at Tri-State have gone way up. The same replacement light engine I'd purchased for $94.95 is now $224.95. They are also out of stock of the blue polarizers. Makes me wonder if the supplies are drying up for parts.
Edited by Wildcat445 - 11/19/13 at 10:31am
post #2844 of 2853
While looking over at another thread in the forum (in the digital projector area), I noticed someone had mentioned using the "high altitude" setting on the projector so that the fans would run at a faster speed.

I've noticed mine has a high altitude setting as well--if it does speed up the fans somewhat, I may enable that option. I can't think of anything else it might do for the set. I am also curious if the Picture and Brightness controls in the set control the brightness of the bulb itself, or simply changes the signal going to the LCD panels.

I can't say I'm happy with the 42" I bought: the bulb seems to take awhile to brighten, despite it being (supposedly) a new bulb. It is also not as bright. They mentioned buying it on eBay, so I'm betting it was a generic bulb. However, wouldn't the TV have a circuit that makes the bulb turn on gradually? I may swap bulbs in the sets to see if I notice a difference.

The brownish picture is now distracting me on the 42" and the more I look at it, the more I'm starting to wonder if it is the polarizer that is burnt. Thing is, the picture on the 42" has that brownish tint to it (I even have the picture set to "cool" mode), where the completely ruined polarizer actually put a bright yellow tint to the picture. I know the burnt polarizer did not affect brightness, as there was plenty on the 50". I will wait until I completely disassemble the light engine to get at the lenses and panels, but I am also trying to track down a polarizer since everyone now seems to be out of stock on them.

There is another 42" located in Troy, near me. The owner seems to think the picture is fine. If the picture is indeed good and the price is right, it would be cheaper than a polarizer (which runs near $80). The best way to check these sets, I've found, is to display a totally black image to check for the blue pixels, and a pure white image to check for any discoloration to the polarizer.
post #2845 of 2853
Interesting idea about the altitude setting. I could never figure out what that would do, but since I always lived relatively near sea level, it didn't matter to me. But if it makes the fan run more, that might be an intriguing way of cooling the set better.

My brother-in-law bought cheap bulbs for his set when he had it, and they didn't last long. I think he went through about four of them over the life of his set. When we chose our replacement bulb, we got a genuine Philips that was supposedly the one recommended by Sony. As our old bulb was dying, the picture got increasingly more yellowish/warmish to the point of having to set it on the cool setting to even it out. Once the new bulb went in, the color balance immediately brightened and shifted to the cool side, meaning I had to crank it back into Warm settings to get it to look right.

Harry
post #2846 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by HGN2001 View Post

When we chose our replacement bulb, we got a genuine Philips that was supposedly the one recommended by Sony. As our old bulb was dying, the picture got increasingly more yellowish/warmish to the point of having to set it on the cool setting to even it out. Once the new bulb went in, the color balance immediately brightened and shifted to the cool side, meaning I had to crank it back into Warm settings to get it to look right.

With the old bulb, did the menu text have sort of a brownish tint to it? I am wondering if this really is a new bulb, or if it was so cheap that it is going bad already. (It was also overheating due to the fan being blocked.) I may take a chance and swap bulbs--the 50" is plenty bright, and I could see if the 42" looks better with that bulb in it. I have the set on Cool, and the tint set toward green, to try and make the colors more neutral at this point. Interesting! The fact that the 50" screen lights up a lot faster than the 42" has me wondering about that "new" bulb now.

I do notice strange (but very faint) discolorations when there is an all-white background, almost looking like the leftovers of smoke or dust. That makes me think there might be crud blown into the lenses and LCD panels (especially since that crud caked on the fan reminded me of the tars from cigarettes). I won't know until I can open it up again in two weeks. The area around the bulb has some heat damage, so I know there was some sort of blowout at one point and who knows? Perhaps the new bulb receiving almost no air is near burning out!

There are some genuine Sylvania/Osram bulbs out there that are reasonably priced if you buy it without the plastic housing. I've seen price differentials from $30-$40 just due to the added cost of the housing, which (if the old one is not damaged) I can swap the new bulb into.
post #2847 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcat445 View Post

With the old bulb, did the menu text have sort of a brownish tint to it?

Yes - everything got increasingly browner as the bulb got dimmer.

When I first got that set, the Warm setting was where it looked best - the most natural on color material. I did occasionally put it on Neutral or Cool for black & white material when it was new. As the bulb settled in over the years I gradually began using the neutral setting and finally cool as it was dying.

The new bulb immediately refreshed my memory as to how the original bulb had once looked.

Harry
post #2848 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcat445 View Post

While looking over at another thread in the forum (in the digital projector area), I noticed someone had mentioned using the "high altitude" setting on the projector so that the fans would run at a faster speed.

I've noticed mine has a high altitude setting as well--if it does speed up the fans somewhat, I may enable that option. I can't think of anything else it might do for the set. I am also curious if the Picture and Brightness controls in the set control the brightness of the bulb itself, or simply changes the signal going to the LCD panels.

I can't say I'm happy with the 42" I bought: the bulb seems to take awhile to brighten, despite it being (supposedly) a new bulb. It is also not as bright. They mentioned buying it on eBay, so I'm betting it was a generic bulb. However, wouldn't the TV have a circuit that makes the bulb turn on gradually? I may swap bulbs in the sets to see if I notice a difference.

The brownish picture is now distracting me on the 42" and the more I look at it, the more I'm starting to wonder if it is the polarizer that is burnt. Thing is, the picture on the 42" has that brownish tint to it (I even have the picture set to "cool" mode), where the completely ruined polarizer actually put a bright yellow tint to the picture. I know the burnt polarizer did not affect brightness, as there was plenty on the 50". I will wait until I completely disassemble the light engine to get at the lenses and panels, but I am also trying to track down a polarizer since everyone now seems to be out of stock on them.

There is another 42" located in Troy, near me. The owner seems to think the picture is fine. If the picture is indeed good and the price is right, it would be cheaper than a polarizer (which runs near $80). The best way to check these sets, I've found, is to display a totally black image to check for the blue pixels, and a pure white image to check for any discoloration to the polarizer.

High altitude, YES, always enable on all Sony 3-LCDs or SXRD's that have that option. Cooling on these sets was an engineering/marketing tradeoff.

Some TVs have an energy saving setting which means the lamp/ballast combination offers dual power, and when you buy lamps for those sets you might notice that they are specified as 100/120W or 120/132W. (Not to be confused with the energy saving option that leaves the tuner powered (or not) for instant on.) Can't remember if the XS955 has this. This choice is shown in the pinouts for the ballast.

The Chinese generics besides having a high new-failure rate and/or a short life, can also have an unpredictable level of brightness and varying color content. Philips literature on this shows that the color content of the lamp light is very dependent on the temperature the lamp runs at, so I can believe that a knockoff lamp can also have problems with color content. I've also noticed that Osrams tend to be a little red-strong vs Philips which are more blue-strong.

Re blue polarizers, 3-LCDs from Hitachi (V500, VS69, VS710, etc) and Zenith EW's are also good donors. Don't take them from used Panasonics. Panasonic is the only company that will sell new blue polarizers, not cheap though, $80-140, depending on model.
post #2849 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckF. View Post

High altitude, YES, always enable on all Sony 3-LCDs or SXRD's that have that option. Cooling on these sets was an engineering/marketing tradeoff.

What kills me is that an additional $10 in plastic ductwork and a filter could have helped prevent these failures. For the light engine, if it were ducted to the back of the cabinet directly, with a filter over it (and perhaps, with an airflow sensor in the middle of the duct to shut the TV down if the filter were plugged), these failures would have been reduced substantially. Heck, even some sort of service bulletin from Sony for techs to recommend the fan be removed and completely cleaned during any service to the set could have helped avoid it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckF. View Post

The Chinese generics besides having a high new-failure rate and/or a short life, can also have an unpredictable level of brightness and varying color content. Philips literature on this shows that the color content of the lamp light is very dependent on the temperature the lamp runs at, so I can believe that a knockoff lamp can also have problems with color content. I've also noticed that Osrams tend to be a little red-strong vs Philips which are more blue-strong.

Good to know. I knew the Chinese bulbs were junk: I've read many complaints online. I also don't know if the former owner fed me a line about the new bulb, but I am convinced it is a bad one. I watched the Michigan/Ohio State game today (ouch frown.gif ) on both sets. The 42" took awhile to warm up, and I had trouble seeing screen details in the room, which faces north (so, not much light). The 50" is in the family room, south side of the house, sun was coming through the doorwall...I set the TV to "Vivid" and had no trouble whatsoever seeing the picture.

Next time I can project an all-white image on the 42", I'll post a photo here. The coloration looks odd--maybe one of the gang here can tell me what it might be. Heck, it could even be a side effect of the bulb, or the previous bulb which seemed to have had a meltdown.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckF. View Post

Re blue polarizers, 3-LCDs from Hitachi (V500, VS69, VS710, etc) and Zenith EW's are also good donors. Don't take them from used Panasonics. Panasonic is the only company that will sell new blue polarizers, not cheap though, $80-140, depending on model.

$80 for a new Panasonic polarizer beats $79.99 for a "salvaged" Sony of questionable origin. Are those other polarizers a drop-in replacement, or do I need to be creative in retrofitting them? If I can make them work and can find one or two cheap enough, I may get a couple for spares and keep them on hand.

Can I actually clean the polarizer and LCD panels? I don't know how they are made. If the polarization is molded into the film on the glass, I'd be safe, but if it is just a coating of some sort, I'd be afraid of rubbing it off if I gently cleaned them. Just seeing what was deposited in the fan makes me think the light engine in the 42" is crudded up inside.
Edited by Wildcat445 - 11/30/13 at 9:17pm
post #2850 of 2853
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcat445 View Post

What kills me is that an additional $10 in plastic ductwork and a filter could have helped prevent these failures. For the light engine, if it were ducted to the back of the cabinet directly, with a filter over it (and perhaps, with an airflow sensor in the middle of the duct to shut the TV down if the filter were plugged), these failures would have been reduced substantially. Heck, even some sort of service bulletin from Sony for techs to recommend the fan be removed and completely cleaned during any service to the set could have helped avoid it.
Good to know. I knew the Chinese bulbs were junk: I've read many complaints online. I also don't know if the former owner fed me a line about the new bulb, but I am convinced it is a bad one. I watched the Michigan/Ohio State game today (ouch frown.gif ) on both sets. The 42" took awhile to warm up, and I had trouble seeing screen details in the room, which faces north (so, not much light). The 50" is in the family room, south side of the house, sun was coming through the doorwall...I set the TV to "Vivid" and had no trouble whatsoever seeing the picture.

Next time I can project an all-white image on the 42", I'll post a photo here. The coloration looks odd--maybe one of the gang here can tell me what it might be. Heck, it could even be a side effect of the bulb, or the previous bulb which seemed to have had a meltdown.

$80 for a new Panasonic polarizer beats $79.99 for a "salvaged" Sony of questionable origin. Are those other polarizers a drop-in replacement, or do I need to be creative in retrofitting them? If I can make them work and can find one or two cheap enough, I may get a couple for spares and keep them on hand.

Can I actually clean the polarizer and LCD panels? I don't know how they are made. If the polarization is molded into the film on the glass, I'd be safe, but if it is just a coating of some sort, I'd be afraid of rubbing it off if I gently cleaned them. Just seeing what was deposited in the fan makes me think the light engine in the 42" is crudded up inside.

You would have to remove the Panasonic polarizer and glass mount from the Panasonic mounting frame and mount it in the Sony frame, which is not difficult. Don't start buying parts though until you get the TV apart and find what's wrong. Odds are that your LCD panel in the blue path is the main problem. Odds are also good that a Sony donor set would have a useable polarizer, and it will definitely have a useable LCD panel in the red or green path.

The 'brown' problem you are seeing also makes me wonder if you have an entirely different problem like a burn in some other component.

You can clean the polarizer or the LCD panel, but that won't fix them. Removing the LCD panel to clean the backside will upset the mechanical convergence, so only clean it if you are replacing it. The process of doing the mechanical convergence is essentially trial-and-error, and is easy to mess up.

The position of the polarizer is also set in the factory for best contrast, so if you remove it, mark it and reinstall in the same position. Better, don't remove it if all you are doing is cleaning it.

The polarizing filter in these sets is a plastic film bonded to a piece of glass. All absorption polarizers are plastic, that's why the heat and UV degrades them.
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